Can you get compensated for mechanical problems on a flight?

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by Beachgirl07, Apr 6, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. Beachgirl07

    Beachgirl07 Silver Member

    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    26
    Status Points:
    130
    On a recent flight we had to change planes due to mechanical issues. Can I get some compensation?
    I did write Southwest last week but haven't heard anything in my snail email or email. If they do how
    much do they give you? How do they contact you? Thank You!!
     
  2. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,508
    Likes Received:
    2,161
    Status Points:
    1,200
    You didn't specify how 'inconvenienced' you were.
    Airlines' COC may vary, but I'd bet the "as long we got you there" applies. (You didn't post carrier-specific, so that's my 2 cents)
     
    LETTERBOY likes this.
  3. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,384
    Likes Received:
    2,797
    Status Points:
    1,445
    What are the grounds for compensation?
     
    LETTERBOY and gregm like this.
  4. ericb

    ericb Silver Member

    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    83
    Status Points:
    305
    Generally, no. An equipment swap (provided you didn't get downgraded, which if you're flying WN isn't possible) is unlikely to get you much in compensation. Did they run afoul of the DOT tarmac delay issues? Was the flight significantly delayed more than an hour or two?

    More often than not, equipment swaps are the most efficient way to resolve a mechanical issue since they offer a solution in a fixed amount of time (the time it takes to deplane and reboard). I wish more airlines had proactive enough gate agents and crew to realize the situation could risk cancellation and just pop a new plane in. It could have been a LOT worse :)

    You could try writing in, but they will check against your ticket price, relationship with the airline and how often you've contacted customer service. I'd save the customer service karma for a bigger fish in the future.

    On the other hand, writing in about minor mechanical issues (broken light, broken seat, food items routinely not stocked from a location) in a "hey! I like flying you guys and just wanted to let you know about issue X so you can pass it on to your maintenance/ground services director" tone has often netted me far more compensation than using an upset tone about a fairly grievous issue. So as always, YMMV :)
     
    LETTERBOY and WilliamQ like this.
  5. Beachgirl07

    Beachgirl07 Silver Member

    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    26
    Status Points:
    130
    Everyone was seated and we all thought we were ready for take off. That's when they announced we would be
    switching planes. The whole process did take at least a hour at least. So it wasn't announced before we all boarded. Does that
    change any information that you gave me?
     
  6. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,508
    Likes Received:
    2,161
    Status Points:
    1,200
    An hour delay is not out of the ordinary.
     
    blackjack-21 and LETTERBOY like this.
  7. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,384
    Likes Received:
    2,797
    Status Points:
    1,445
    On what grounds do you feel you're due any compensation? Would you have preferred they flew you on the original, defective equipment?
     
  8. ericb

    ericb Silver Member

    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    83
    Status Points:
    305
    While yes, the airline is in charge of maintaining its equipment, the plane itself goes through a slew of checks and inspections while passengers are queueing to board. This is a tradeoff for being able to offer sub 45 minute turnarounds and say 4 flights between two airports instead of 3 per day. An hour in the grand scheme of things is nothing to sneeze at. Cue Louis C.K. video here:

    http://www.cc.com/video-clips/1myllo/stand-up-louis-ck--the-miracle-of-flight

    Things that will get a letter from me:

    1) Employees that are rude, unprofessional or making up rules - I always phrase these as opportunities for training and emphasize I always enjoy flying the carrier and that this is an outlier
    2) Changes that end up with me in a lower class of service - If I paid or redeemed for a premium cabin, then that's how I should be accommodated
    3) Minor mechanical/operation issues that are either easy to fix for the next passenger (e.g. light/seat) see above
    4) Endemic issues with a particular hub/plane/crew and only if it's a consistent problem that should be addressed at a base or corporate level (say when I was flying weekly to MSP and there were gate changes across the airport (C to G and back) 5 straight weeks in a row) or when the Wi-Fi on the same plane/equipment type has been broken for several months, even though there are inserts in the seat advertising it

    Things like ATC delays, meal choice, passengers adhering to boarding procedures, loud/unruly/drunk/passengers (just to name a few) are considerably more random and very difficult for an airline to route to anyone to fix the problem. Always ask yourself "how can the problem be fixed?" If your flight was cancelled due to a hurricane or volcano, I'd love to see the response to your letter begin "While we are working on a weather machine, in exchange for your loyalty..."

    I've even gotten compensation for emailing an airline with a compliment. Always think about what's in it for both parties.

    Always be polite, constructive and suggest reasonable actionable outcomes - "Could I have a refund for the difference between coach and business from point A to point B?" "Could you pass this on to your crew training supervisors?"
     
    LETTERBOY, gregm and WilliamQ like this.
  9. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,465
    Likes Received:
    2,447
    Status Points:
    1,325
    An hour is nothing, alway put your self in their shoes..
    I am glad to see the planes get there safe.

    Over the years, being nice has always got me what I wanted.

    It does no good to complain.

    I understand how bad thing are and any help would be appreciated,

    Thank you, Works for me...
     
  10. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

    Messages:
    32,725
    Likes Received:
    191,901
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Nothing you've said gives rise to compensation.

    It sounds like a problem was discovered shortly before departure. If it was in the timeframe you discussed for a replacement plane to be available, it sounds like the airline took reasonable measures.

    Were there other unique circumstances or extraordinary consequential damages that you faced?
     
  11. foxberg

    foxberg Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,196
    Likes Received:
    2,430
    Status Points:
    1,245
    I'm contemplating to write to AA about my last flight. JFK-SFO was delayed for 1,5 hours due to MX, But that wasn't the issue. I had a problem with someone sitting behind me so drunk that he threw up all over the place while we were in the air. FA said that no one saw him being in that condition. But when I told her that he was so wasted that he was wobbling while getting to his seat she told me that I should have mentioned this to them and they would have taken him off the plane. Like this is my job to fish out drunk pax! Between GAs and FAs no one saw that??? On top of that, the girl that said next to him asked if she could change the seat. She was told no other seats were available. But with about 1 hour before the landing they moved her to an empty seat in F. I guess someone got off somewhere over Chicago, so that seat became available.
     
  12. ericb

    ericb Silver Member

    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    83
    Status Points:
    305
    So, in the spirit of being constructive, what could the airline or the crew do differently exactly? Breathalyze every passenger? Make him less drunk? Move him to... ah right you're on a plane.

    I'm still stand by my above statement that passenger issues are not worth writing in. They can't make our ugly selves any less drunk/obnoxious/abusive than we already are :)

    (And I may enjoy a few glasses of Dom on my TPACs - though not as much as this guy http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-reports/1074418-8-bottles-dom-lax-bkk-sq-f.html)
     
    traveltoomuch likes this.
  13. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,508
    Likes Received:
    2,161
    Status Points:
    1,200
    Ouch. I have to agree with you. No one saw him? Please. If the GA or FA said something, it would have caused a delay. Neither of them would want to have that on their backs.
     
    foxberg likes this.
  14. foxberg

    foxberg Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,196
    Likes Received:
    2,430
    Status Points:
    1,245
    FYI, FA said that according to their regulations they have to deny boarding to anyone severely drunk.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
    blackjack-21, Beachgirl07 and gregm like this.
  15. ericb

    ericb Silver Member

    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    83
    Status Points:
    305
    This is a fair point that it's technically against the regulations, though to see the guy precisely when he wobbles would require a pretty vigilant crew, similar to bag size enforcement no?

    Not saying it's impossible, but he could have "1.2.3. Sober!" at the appropriate times. There are usually higher priority things going on, like stopping bloggers from taking photos :)

    Though interesting point, from the OP, the issue seemed to be more the mess the guy created. Would this have been a problem if he didn't throw up? Would it have been a problem if he did, but wasn't intoxicated? Curious where to draw the line.
     
    foxberg likes this.
  16. foxberg

    foxberg Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,196
    Likes Received:
    2,430
    Status Points:
    1,245
    Obviously, you can't blame a person for getting sick on a plane under the normal circumstances. But I can't see any sober person throwing up all around while still sitting in his seat. This guy didn't even get up until FA told him to go clean himself in the lavatory! Those regulations were put in place to minimize a possibility of various types of behavior that intoxicated passengers could exhibit.
     
  17. ericb

    ericb Silver Member

    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    83
    Status Points:
    305
    No, I agree, it really really does sound unpleasant.

    Many people in the customer service industry are trained to give compensation based on the perceived magnitude of the problem in the eyes of the customer (which if you know this can create a big moral hazard whenever the slightest thing goes wrong - but that's a different topic entirely).

    If it was truly a horrible experience that could have been prevented, there's really no harm in sending something in. The worst thing that happens is you get a "no" and most likely you'll get an apology. Let us know how it goes!
     
    gregm and foxberg like this.
  18. foxberg

    foxberg Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,196
    Likes Received:
    2,430
    Status Points:
    1,245
    I actually did message them. But I didn't ask for anything, just described the situation. I don't like to demand a compensation as though I'm entitled to it. Those things happen, but it could have been prevented. And it's up to AA to either offer some comp miles or to simply send a reply.
     
    Beachgirl07, vickers and gregm like this.
  19. foxberg

    foxberg Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,196
    Likes Received:
    2,430
    Status Points:
    1,245
    FYI, and as I mentioned before, I never asked for anything. Nice gesture, I have to say. And it's already posted.
    "
    Thank you for contacting Customer Relations. We are sorry we didn't get you to your destination as planned on March 30 and realize how frustrating this must have been. The on-time departure of our flights is one of our most important service goals and we will continue our efforts to improve our record.

    Furthermore, our employees strive to provide all of our customers with a safe and pleasant flying experience, and we try to ensure you are not subjected to uncomfortable situations by other passengers. However, as in any public gathering, there may be occasions when one individual's actions bother another. Since our crew members may not be witness to all the behaviors or actions of a particular passenger, there may be a limit to what they can do to improve behavior that is perceived as a nuisance. In the face of any serious disturbance, our crews are trained to diffuse potentially volatile situations so as to ensure the safety and well-being of all our customers and crew members.

    I am truly sorry our inflight personnel were not more successful in ensuring your trip was pleasant and hassle-free. We have shared your comments with those on board and are looking for ways to better handle such difficulties in the future.

    In hopes of encouraging you to continue to travel with us, we've added 8,000 bonus miles to your AAdvantage® account. You should see this adjustment in your account very soon. You can view your account via AA.com.

    XXXX we value your business and look forward to welcoming you on board the next time your plans call for air travel."
     
  20. ericb

    ericb Silver Member

    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    83
    Status Points:
    305
    Very Nice!
     
    gregm and foxberg like this.
  21. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,421
    Likes Received:
    2,111
    Status Points:
    1,225
    Love this.
     
    foxberg and gregm like this.
  22. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,421
    Likes Received:
    2,111
    Status Points:
    1,225
    Being kind and not asking for anything seems like the best approach.
     
    IDGflygirl, foxberg and gregm like this.
  23. Beachgirl07

    Beachgirl07 Silver Member

    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    26
    Status Points:
    130
    Way to Go!! Thank You For Sharing this!! Awesome!!!
     
  24. foxberg

    foxberg Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,196
    Likes Received:
    2,430
    Status Points:
    1,245
    Got 2,5K extra posted yesterday a well. Also from CS. I've no idea what those are for. But it does make me feel that much better about AA. IHG should take a page out of their book - sending emails to them 50% of time falls into a black hole.
     
    Flyer1976 and gregm like this.
  25. Kelly Pole

    Kelly Pole New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    6
    Status Points:
    10
    Got to know so much new
     
    Gargoyle and Flyer1976 like this.

Share This Page